SRE are you getting it? A report by the UK Youth Parliament

Case Studies & Research
UK Youth Parliament
12 p.

SRE in schools is and has been of concern to young people to UKYP's knowledge, for at least seven years. Since UKYP's first Manifesto in 2001, Members of the Youth Parliament (MYPs) have consistently said that the SRE they are receiving in school is too little, too late, too biological and doesn't provide enough (if any) information on relationships. The Government is not listening to the views of children and young people receiving SRE. OFSTED in, 'Time For Change? Personal, Social and Health Education' (2007) reported, 'Many young people say that parents and some teachers are not very good at talking about the more sensitive issues in PSHE, such as sex and relationships ... In the case of SRE young people do not want just the biological facts but want to talk about feelings and relationships.' Inspectors also found that teachers, governors and parents have not received sufficient guidance and support to help them talk to young people about sensitive issues. In 2006 MYPs chose SRE as a national campaign theme for UKYP, aiming to get Government to listen and change the way SRE is delivered. We are now able to show that the provision of SRE is not just the concern of one or two young people in one small part of the country, but that thousands of young people from across the UK are unhappy with the SRE they are receiving and that it is now time for a change. It is already widely known that the UK has the highest rate of teenage pregnancies in Europe and that sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are also more prevalent than ever before, particularly in young people aged 16-19. In 2006-07 we surveyed the views of thousands of young people under 18 through a questionnaire designed by MYPs in the South East, which was available online and distributed through MYPs' places of education. 21,602 people responded to a simple survey of six questions which ascertained the level of Sex and Relationships Education in schools across the country and what young people thought of it. The data was carefully collated and this briefing summarises our findings.

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